If you’re anything like me, now is not the time for serious or depressing films, TV programs or books. But when it comes to books, perhaps I can offer some happier alternatives. Here are some comedy fiction recommendations by three authors that will make you smile and laugh-out-loud, and put the sunshine back in your days.
Terry Pratchett’s imagination was arguably beyond comparison (Tolkien aside, of course, before you send hate mail). His creation of the Discworld and the 41 novels based on this fantasy planet is one of the true gems of all fantasy fiction, or indeed any fiction. They are probably the funniest books you will ever read.
For Pratchett newcomers, the Discworld is a flat planet carried through space on the back of four giant elephants, which stand on the shell of the space turtle, Great A’Tuin. Wizards, Witches, humans, trolls, dragons, vampires, werewolves and goblins live together in disharmony in this world which parodies our own and shines a torch on the nonsensical behaviour of human kind – whether that’s war, religion, politics, or football (see Unseen Academicals).
But you don’t need to be a fan of fantasy fiction to like Pratchett or his books. The Discworld is satire at its best and his characters are infinitely loveable: for example, Rincewind the bumbling fool of a wizzard (with two Z’s) and his murderous luggage; Commander Vimes, the sarcastic and brilliant chief of police; and the Wee Free Men – tiny blue Scottish pixies with bright red hair, tattoos, and a psychotic desire to assault anyone and anything that passes them.
If you like to laugh, give Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series a try. You won’t regret it.
If you like to see the world, try Michael Palin. He is known across the globe for Monty Python and his travel documentaries, but my focus here is on Palin the explorer, who inspired my own love of travelling.
Visiting more countries than most of us could ever dream to see, Palin’s distinctly British humour provides some truly comical moments, and his kind and open approach to the people he meets bring the world to life in a way that is genuine and interesting.
The books accompanying each journey are a must: they are funny and provide information and tales that you don’t see on the program. His perception of the world and people around him is excellent. By the time you have finished reading, you will be planning your world tour.
And if I still haven’t convinced you, then just put on some old Monty Python films and try your best to always look on the bright side of life (bet I made you whistle).
Unless you’ve been living under a rock on a desert island in a far away galaxy, you won’t need me to introduce J.K. Rowling or her phenomenally successful Harry Potter series. The films are good, but the books are better, and now is a great time to read them.
The books are also consistently funny. Ron, Hermione, Hagrid and the Weasley Twins (to name a few) provide a light-hearted coating to the otherwise dark story of a bad wizard who wants to rule the world and destroy Harry Potter.
Time to smile
In such strange times, the constant media horror stories wear you down and make it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Blocking out the negative and focusing on the positive can be difficult, if not impossible. But to smile and laugh in spite of the chaos is the only way to get through this relatively unscathed – mentally and physically. And although I can’t pretend to know the future, the three authors above will, I promise, help you to escape the fear and the madness of the present and put a smile back on your face.
Stay safe everyone and happy reading.
If you liked this article, you can read more of my recommendations on my home page (CLICK HERE)